I found these and thought they were really interesting. enjoy.
LONG IN THE TOOTH
Origin: Originally used to describe old horses. As horses age, their gums recede, giving the impression that their teeth are growing. The longer the teeth look, the older the horse.
Meaning: A muscle cramp.
Origin: In 1640, Charles I of England expanded the London police force. The new recruits were nicknamed "Charleys." There wasn't enough money to provide the new police with horses so they patrolled on foot. They joked that their sore feet and legs came from riding "Charley's horse."
BEAT AROUND THE BUSH
Meaning: Go about things in a circuitous manner, go around an issue rather than deal with it directly.
Origin: In the Middle Ages, people caught birds by dropping a net over a bush and clubbing the ground around it to scare the birds into flying into the net. Once a bird was caught, you could stop beating around the bush and start eating.
PULL SOMEONE'S LEG
Meaning: Fool someone.
Origin: Years ago back-alley thieves worked in pairs. One thief, known as a "tripper up," would use a cane, rope, or piece of wire to trip a pedestrian, knocking them to the ground. While the victim was down, the second thief would rob them. Pulling your leg originally referred to the way the "tripper up" tried to make someone stumble. Today it only refers to tripping someone figuratively.
Meaning: Replacement or backup.
Origin: You might have caught William Tell without an apple, but not without a second string. In medieval times, an archer always carried a second string in case the one on his bow broke.
MEET A DEADLINE
Meaning: Finish a project by an appointed time.
Origin: The phrase was born in prisoner-of-war camps during the Civil War. Because resources were scarce, the prison camps were sometimes nothing more than a plot of land surrounded by a marked line. If a prisoner tried to cross the line, he would be shot. So it became known as the "deadline."
SON OF A GUN
Meaning: An epithet.
Origin: In the 1800s, British sailors took women along on extended voyages. When babies were born at sea, the mothers delivered them in a partitioned section of the gundeck. Because no one could be sure who the true fathers were, each of these "gunnery" babies was jokingly called a "son of a gun."
I'VE GOT A FROG IN MY THROAT
Meaning: I'm hoarse from a cold.
Origin: Surprisingly, this wasn't inspired by the croaking sound of a cold-sufferer's voice, but by a weird medical practice. "In the Middle Ages," says Christine Ammer in It's Raining Cats and Dogs, "infections such as thrush were sometimes treated by putting a live frog head first into the patient's mouth; by inhaling, the frog was believed to draw the patient's infection into its own body. The treatment is happily obsolete, but its memory survives in the 19th century term frog in one's throat."
CHEW THE FAT
Meaning: Chat; engage in idle conversation.
Origin: Originally a sailor's term. Before refrigeration, ships carried food that wouldn't spoil. One of them was salted pork skin, a practically inedible morsel that consisted largely of fat. Sailors would only eat it if all other food was gone... and they often complained as they did. This (and other) idle chatter eventually became known as "chewing the fat."
PAY THROUGH THE NOSE
Meaning: To pay a high price; to pay dearly.
Origin: Comes from the ninth-century Ireland. When the Danes conquered the Irish, they imposed an exorbitant Nose Tax on the island's inhabitants. They took a census (by counting noses) and levied oppressive sums on their victims, forcing them to pay by threatening to have their noses actually slit. Paying the tax was "paying trough the nose."
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